Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs indicates safety as the second most important need for human beings, right after basic needs. This indicates that in order to be fulfilled, people must feel safe. One place that may be hard to feel safe is on the road, but the Department of Motor Vehicles claims it is doing its part to discourage dangerous behavior on the road through enforcing the point system. The DMV point system is not very complex, but it could become an obstacle if you are not aware of its inner workings.
So, how do you attain points on your driving record? Simply stated, you get points on your record by being convicted of driving/traffic violations. The New York State Department of Motor Vehicles site provides a table containing the breakdown of the number of points allotted for several different traffic violations. The DMV automated computer system keeps track of your points, or your “driver violation point total”. Points are not actually added to your record until you are convicted of an offense, and remain on your record for 18 months.
What is the significance of points on your driving record? If you collect a total of 11 or more points within an 18 month span, your license is suspended. Not only that, but if your insurance company deems you as a risk or an unsafe driver, they may increase your rates. Your insurance company could also drop your coverage, and it would be hard to find another insurance company that will cover you for a reasonable price, if at all. This could be detrimental, considering that driving without insurance is against the law.
It is clear that having driver violation points on your record is objectionable. The best policy to avoid points would be to not be convicted of traffic violations. If you have four or more points on your record, you can reduce your amount of points by participating in the point and insurance reduction program. It is a course that highlights essential traffic safety information, and at the end of the course participants are rewarded with a four point reduction of their record as well as a minimum ten percent reduction in their liability and collision premium for three years.
For more information on the point and insurance reduction programs: http://www.nydmv.state.ny.us/broch/c32a.htm.